Pittsburgh Symphony posts $1.3 million deficit, but cost-saving imminent

Posted on: August 31, 2011

In Wednesday’s (8/31) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Andrew Druckenbrod writes, “The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will end its 2010-11 fiscal year at the close of today with a deficit of approximately $1.3 million, subject to final audits. While ticket sales revenue increased modestly last season, the orchestra received approximately $1.7 million less in funding from public sources than two years ago, said PSO board chairman Richard P. Simmons. … ‘The PSO’s overall financial picture reflects the economic uncertainty we are all facing,’ he said. ‘Looking forward into fiscal 2012 and 2013, we are making important strides to reduce the gap between revenue and expenses. We are aggressively pursuing increases in ticket sales and fundraising.’ All ticket groups will have on average a 5 percent increase in price this coming season. But the biggest adjustment will go into effect Monday, when a three-year contract with the PSO’s musicians begins that reduces wages by 9.7 percent in the first year and freezes wages in the second year. … ‘This new contract will save the PSO approximately $1.6 million next year, and we estimate that this will increase to $2 million in fiscal 2013,’ said Mr. Simmons. Music director Manfred Honeck recently voluntarily reduced his own salary by 10 percent.”

Posted August 31, 2011